Wales and Ospreys lock Alun Wyn Jones has been ruled out of action up to six weeks, according to Warren Gatland.
The 30-year-old has a heel injury that has ruled him out of Wales'Six Nations game against Italy on Saturday.
"Talking to the medics they think he needs six weeks rest, that's why we made the decision that we didn't need him this week," said Gatland.
"We have make sure we manage him over the next few weeks and we work closely with the Ospreys."
Wales head coach Gatland says Jones has been only 80% fit since the start of the Six Nations, adding the aim was to get him back "towards the end of the season."
The loss of their captain would be a blow to the Ospreys who are currently 12th in the Pro12, some way off the European qualification places.
Their next match is at home to west Wales rivals Scarlets on 25 March.
Wales have a busy schedule in the summer, facing England in Twickenham on 29 May and then three Test matches against New Zealand in June.